Pivotal Ventures and Techstars announced today the first 10 companies that will participate in the Techstars Future of Longevity Accelerator. The 13-week program will provide resources, mentorship, and training to entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to address the unmet needs of older Americans and their caregivers.
The accelerator’s inaugural class includes companies with a wide range of creative products and services to improve eldercare—from new digital health devices, to platforms that connect older people with neighbors and families, to better ways to help nursing home staff get to know their clients. The companies aim to empower older people to live with greater dignity, independence, and security while alleviating the pressures on the people who care for them.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges facing aging Americans and the people who love and look after them. A recent report found that 48 million people in the U.S.—mostly women—care for another adult. For many caregivers, this work is unpaid and comes in addition to their childcare and work responsibilities. And with 10,000 baby boomers, on average, turning 65 every day, the need is only growing for new ways to support older Americans and caregivers.
Pivotal Ventures is committed to growing the innovation pipeline in the caregiving space, which is why in January 2020 we announced plans to team up with Techstars, an organization that helps entrepreneurs grow their ideas into world-changing businesses. For the inaugural accelerator class, a committee of investors, experts, and industry leaders selected 10 companies that will receive financial support, hands-on mentorship, and training in entrepreneurial best practices. The leaders of these companies include seven CEOs who are women, and nearly half of the founders are Black or Latinx, reflecting the diversity of the communities they serve. Check out the 10 companies below:
- Braze Mobility: Braze Mobility has developed the world’s first blind spot sensor system that can be attached to any motorized wheelchair, transforming it into a “smart” wheelchair. With Braze Mobility, users can more easily spot obstacles, helping to reduce the risks of injury and wheelchair damage and help users maintain their dignity and independence.
- Candoo Tech: Candoo Tech provides on-demand tech support and training specifically designed to help older adults stay safe, independent, and connected. The company provides one-off sessions, device setup, and ongoing support for members looking to use technology to connect with family members, attend telehealth appointments, and go online.
- Naborforce: Naborforce connects a network of community members, “Nabors,” to older adults for assistance with basic tasks and social engagement. These “backup” sons and daughters address the caregiver shortage while also helping combat loneliness.
- UpsideHōm: UpsideHōm offers the only fully managed, shared living option for older adults to address the problems of loneliness and cost of housing.
- ConnectCareHero: ConnectCareHero is an activities management platform that enables the teams supporting senior citizens to streamline state-required documentation, keep families easily connected, and provide a place where they can plan curated activities.
- MemoryWell: MemoryWell is a digital platform that uses storytelling to improve the care of older people. Using its network of professional writers, MemoryWell works with families, senior living communities, and home- and community-based providers to replace intake questionnaires with brief, intimate stories designed to build empathy and be poignant keepsakes for families.
- Rezilient Health: Rezilient’s robotic telehealth platform allows physicians to not only provide standard video visits, but also remotely control the positioning of medical devices that are located with the patient at another physician’s office, pharmacy, or nursing home, among other locations.
- Rubitection: Rubitection is developing a skin health and wellness system to improve detection, assessment, and care management of vascular and dermatological conditions like bed sores and foot ulcers for seniors at home, in nursing homes, or in hospitals.
- Authored: Authored creates apparel that is thoughtfully engineered with discreet openings that adapt to body needs and limitations. The startup’s clothing promotes and prolongs independence, enables safer dressing, and reduces stigma and injuries.
- Wysefit: Wysefit is a fitness app created specifically for older people. Taught by certified instructors and health professionals, the app's programs address the needs of people as they age—from stretches to help with arthritis to exercises to build muscle and reduce lower back pain.
The 13-week, entirely virtual accelerator will officially kick off on September 8 and will culminate in a Demo Day on December 9 when all participating companies will pitch their business models to investors and industry leaders. For more information, visit: www.techstars.com/accelerators/longevity.